On the trail of retail

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Billy J. Payton will be asking prospective clients an important question as senior VP at Brierley & Partners and president of the Dallas direct agency's retail practice. The question: "Do your best customers know that you know them?" Mr. Payton, who comes to Brierley after 36 years at Neiman Marcus, plans to apply his customer-care skills across a broad swath of the retail industry. "My mission is to be the leader for Brierley & Partners in the retail arena for teaching clients how to identify and cultivate relationships with customers and obviously maximize their market share," he says.

Age: 57.

Education: Dallas County Community College, AD in marketing, 1973.

Work highlights: Oct. 1964-April '00, Neiman Marcus Co., most recently VP-corporate marketing and customer programs. As VP-customer programs in 1984, Mr. Payton designed, named and implemented the InCircle customer loyalty program. He also pioneered customer relationship programs such as electronic prepaid gift cards.

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